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, The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health has renewed its membership with the Region 6 South Central Public Health Training Center. The center is a coalition of schools and agencies focused on providing public health workforce development while also advancing public health initiatives throughout the five-state region.
Led by the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, the states in the Region 6 South Central center are: Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. The College of Public Health represents Arkansas in the partnership.
“We’re excited to return to the center,” said Cynthia Lewis, director of the college’s Office of Professional Development and Program Evaluation. “We were a partner back when the training center was first established. We’ve now relaunched the partnership, and we’re excited about it and the opportunities it will present. From our perspective as the only public health college in Arkansas, it allows us to build professional relationships with entities across five states. Academically, it helps bring five internship opportunities to our students as well. Our being with the center is a benefit for the people of Arkansas.”
The center and its development courses will help the college increase the general public’s knowledge of public health. The college will promote the center and its trainings to public health professionals, health care organizations and nonprofits. Lewis will attend community events and hand out information about the center. She’ll also meet with college faculty members to inform them about the center.
“College educators can use the center’s trainings as assignments for their students or they could have the students look at the trainings for general public health information,” Lewis stated. “The center can be a well-rounded training tool for the state’s future public health officials.”
The center can develop training courses that are exclusive to a particular situation in Arkansas, she added.
“An organization can reach out to us and request a specific public health course. We can then pitch the idea to the team at Tulane, and if they feel there’s enough of a need, we can get content to the center and work with their staff to get a requested course posted onto the center website.”
The center and its online trainings will play a key role in helping to advance knowledge of public health throughout Arkansas. According to Lewis, the center’s website offers an impressive library of public health information that’s easy to access.
“Whether you’re in public health or only have an interest in public health, you can log on and sign up to take a training,” she said. “Due to it being online, people can do the trainings whenever it fits into their schedule and that’s an additional benefit of it. Most of all, a person or organization doesn’t have to be in the field of public health to benefit from the trainings.”
Overall, the college renewing its membership in the Region 6 South Central Public Health Training Center is a means to help Arkansans understand the value of public health and the role it plays in either maintaining or improving their health.
“The center and its website are for every Arkansan,” Lewis said. “The trainings are free, and they’re developed by public health professionals who are familiar with public health and who have a great perspective on what a quality training consists of.”
For more information about the center, visit https://r6phtc.sph.tulane.edu/ or contact Lewis at CLLewis3@uams.edu.